Education continues, as it always has, as an experiment. Like any experiment, it is a work in progress. Like any experiment, it is messy, sometimes a little chaotic, and controversial. But those who label this experiment as “failing” fail to see is what it’s produced.
Our system has produced Ford, Google, Apple, 3m. It’s produced the only men to land on the moon, its built renewable energy, its fostered literary giants. It’s created iconic movies, built sports legends, and produced music heard around the world. With all its messiness, the American system of education is the driving force behind what makes our nation successful. It is our truest national security.
This experiment, education is only possible because of Nevada’s 22,000 teachers. Every day, 22,000 teachers arrive at school believing in students’ capacity to learn. They motivate, they prod, they occasionally threaten. What they do most is a statement of the obvious: they teach. A new teacher texted me last weekend and said, “I can’t believe how hard this job is. It’s so all-consuming” I responded, “This isn’t a job; it’s a calling.” Nevada’s 22,000 teachers are called to benefit the lives of Nevada’s ½ million students.
However, education in this next century needs to extend beyond the walls of this experiment. Education has global implications, and it no longer is just the work of teachers, students, and parents. Businesses, both local and national, have a role to play in providing input, opportunities, and options for education.
Through cooperation and collaboration, businesses—like Farmer’s Insurance—can help us build even greater opportunities for education. I applaud Farmer’s Insurance for what they are doing. The Thank Nevada Teachers program encourages and rewards innovative teaching and provides some much-needed funding to education.